The Future Has Come: Ballet MCGREGOR + MUGLER

The Future Has Come: Ballet MCGREGOR + MUGLER

This spring's ballet finale is going to be bright. For two nights in May, the New Stage of the Bolshoi will host a futuristic premiere with haute couture costumes.

Ballet + Fashion

The avant-garde ballet MCGREGOR + MUGLER will premiere at the Bolshoi Theater on May 25 and 26. In this collaboration between British choreographer Wayne McGregor and French couturier Thierry Mugler contemporary ballet and high fashion will come together. The production first premiered in Great Britain in 2019.

The main part in the Russian version of MCGREGOR + MUGLER will be performed by the prima ballerina of the Bolshoi Theater Olga SmirnovaDenis Savin will be her partner. The ballerina has admitted that the upcoming premiere turned out to be a challenge for her as there was not much time to absorb the choreographic material.

See and Hear the Future

Flamboyant costumes, as if from world-class fashion shows, are an important feature of the production. We know that Thierry Mugler was coming to the rehearsals to adjust the artists’ costumes down to the smallest detail. That is why, even fitting photos look like a fashion show.

Reptile skin, face masks, mohawks on their heads and shiny armor on their legs - dancers on stage look like heroes from the future. You can’t take your eyes off the glittering gold and silver overalls with metal plates. The body is clearly outlined under the shine of metal armor - the costumes are emphatically sexy. It is not the first time Mugler surprises the audience. Just recall the resplendent performances by David Bowie, Madonna and Lady Gaga.

From concept to implementation, Mugler’s creative ideas have undergone changes. First, the couturier created a rigid corset for Olga Smirnova, accenting her waist. However, this costume hindered her movements and McGregor advocated free plastique on stage. This is how the lightweight corset version appeared - the audience will see it on the ballerina.

Fantastic costumes are complemented by the vivid makeup of the artists. Long eyeliner arrows going up to the temples, clearly outlined eyebrows with drawn "hairs" and sparkling lines of rhinestones make them look like characters of futuristic fantasies, heroes from outer worlds.

Futurism is an important feature of the production. The topic of technology, space and fantastic future can be seen not only in costumes, but also in the new androgyny combining feminine and masculine principles. The musical accompaniment also seems to have come from the future. The artists will dance to electronic music, which was composed by artificial intelligence, as well as to piano neoclassical music that was also treated electronically. 

The MCGREGOR + MUGLER production will be part of the POSTSCRIPT ballet program. The audience will see four contemporary ballets by five choreographers, one of whom is Wayne McGregor. Ballerina Olga Smirnova will dance in three of the four performances.

Following the May premiere, MCGREGOR + MUGLER will go on a world tour. But in the fall of this year, the ballet will return to the playbills and the stage of the Bolshoi Theater.